In 2012, the term “mobility” has become more than a pure wireless connection for consumers – it’s a gateway to access popular services, personal media and the cloud anytime, anywhere.
Behind this mobile curtain lies an intelligent network that enables services to follow subscribers from location to location, and affect how they access their content. This has powerful implications to the world of computing as we know it.
In today’s world, people are no longer tethered to a stationary PC, as witnessed by the “bring your own device” (BYOD) phenomena. In the last few years, smartphones and tablets have transformed from social and entertainment “toys” to business productivity tools. In fact, Forrester Research found that by 2015, 1 in 3 US online consumers will use a tablet, and more often than not they will be bringing these devices into the workplace. No one can question the tablet’s ability to better enable business users to access, collaborate and share information in real time, whether they are at home, at work or on vacation.
In addition to productivity gains, the proliferation of mobile devices has led to the creation of a new mobile ecosystem comprised of users, devices, operating systems, clients, applications, and the network itself, which gets increasingly harder for IT to manage.
This new world of mobile computing is causing many enterprises to rethink their network strategies as companies no longer dictate the device, even though they still control the environment in which that device operates. This shift has already greatly changed the shape of network traffic, and it is presenting an entirely new set of challenges and expectations on the network in terms of access, performance, and security.
What is needed from the network? The network has to get smarter so it can distinguish users and what devices they’re using. It has to know where they roam and give specific levels of access — through role-based authentication — because enterprises have to keep out unauthorized users. The network has to keep track of everything in motion.